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Crossbow--2 handed or can use a shield?

Discuss the Rules of HeroQuest as set out by Milton Bradley Game Systems and Quest Packs.

Re: Crossbow--2 handed or can use a shield?

Postby Maurice76 » Wednesday February 27th, 2019 8:02am

In our medieval history, shields used by crossbowmen were predominantly if not completely of the pavise type: a large shield that could be placed stationary as a barrier behind which the crossbowman could hide while reloading the crossbow. Even something as small as a buckler strapped to the arm would eventually wear the arm down, when the main form of attack would be archery. Keep in mind that while the main (often right) arm/hand is used to fire the crossbow bolt, the other (often left) arm/hand is used to keep the bow steady and aimed at the intended target. Strapping weight - any weight - to it would quickly negatively impact accuracy. Furthermore, an object strapped to the arm would also possibly impede freedom of motion while reloading the crossbow (both pulling the string and placing the bolt in the weapon), resulting in longer and more arduous loading times.

As with archers in general, they relied on other troops to protect them while doing their shooting. If the enemy got too close, they were forced to fall back to their swords, a sidearm they usually carried for close combat protection. Without it, operating a (cross)bow simply left way too much open in the form of defense, making it a lot easier to take an archer out. In computer games and P&P RPG's, this is often symbolised by attacks of opportunity against units attempting a (cross)bow attack while there's an enemy standing next to them.

In that way, I'd say it makes sense to disallow (cross)bow attacks when there's an enemy within melee range. Diagonally adjacent can only be considered as an enemy in melee range if that enemy has a weapon that allows for a melee attack across the diagonal.


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Re: Crossbow--2 handed or can use a shield?

Postby mitchiemasha » Wednesday February 27th, 2019 2:48pm

benvoliothefirst wrote:I've been looking at mitchiemasha's expanded armory

Yeah the Long Bow is removed, it makes no sense to have such a thing in a dungeon. I''d stumbled on an issue so haven't uploaded the new version yet. Making the short bow 2Ad6 is too strong for a 150g start weapon. Removing the long Bow I've kind of broken how all that works under the hood, as a lot of mechanics are interconnected.

The repeater is only 3Ad6. 3 very weak darts. This can be split into separate attacks or 1 roll. It was added after a short thread here, someone else's inspiration, quite fun to play. If your character starts with +1 Range, that could give you 6Ad6 on 1 target (3 attacks at 2Ad6) depending on how the Hero played it, but the defender would defend 3 times. It's an important part of how your starting speciality has benefits later on over other heroes attempting your path. Non of this is explained in the game, discovering it is part of the game, you're simply told the mechanic.

Maurice76 wrote:In our medieval history.

Interesting, I love these kind of contributions. The only thing I can think off as a counter is that a lot of history is based on soldiers in an army, what best suits them. There's room to twist things in HeroQuest fantasy, they're a dungeon crawling adventurer. Some sort of Buckler would have no place on an Archer way back on a battle field but in the deep dark, might save him a blow whilst reaching for his dagger.
Last edited by mitchiemasha on Wednesday February 27th, 2019 9:42pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Crossbow--2 handed or can use a shield?

Postby mitchiemasha » Wednesday February 27th, 2019 2:51pm

Maurice76 wrote:as an enemy in melee range

I do like this "Melee Range" wording, this is an excellent way to include adjacent and diagonal into 1.


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Re: Crossbow--2 handed or can use a shield?

Postby Anderas » Wednesday February 27th, 2019 3:30pm

The English long bow archers won a fight against the bretons in the 100 year war because their archers were also trained with sword and shield.

So when the French cavalry came to kill them, they totally underestimated the threat, attacked the archers in too low numbers and in the end lost the entire battle that day.

I finally decided. My Crosssbow will be two-handed. You need to reload after all. As you can't use it in melee range (thanks for that word), the only difference would be in a firefight with a monster archer, and there you need the second hand for reloading.

My Crossbowman model has a shield and a sword, by the way.

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Re: Crossbow--2 handed or can use a shield?

Postby Maurice76 » Wednesday February 27th, 2019 4:23pm

Anderas wrote:...melee range (thanks for that word),


You're welcome :P.


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Re: Crossbow--2 handed or can use a shield?

Postby mitchiemasha » Friday March 1st, 2019 1:47pm

Anderas wrote:...

I've just realised I can make my Buckler the same as yours without it ruining the standard "broken" mechanic. I'd avoided :blackshield: rerolls as I thought it would be a problem but it actually fixes a problem.

Buckler: Can reroll 1 :blackshield: in defence, if same result broken.

So much simpler than what I had.

I like how this also acts as a potential to save damaging armour. Say a player rolls 3 :blackshield:, that's a broken helmet, utilising the buckler, you risk it but could save your helmet and a body point.


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Re: Crossbow--2 handed or can use a shield?

Postby wallydubbs » Friday March 1st, 2019 3:16pm

Jalapenotrellis wrote:The armory doesn't specifically state whether you can use a shield with the crossbow--is it a 2-handed weapon? Also, what is preventing someone from shooting the crossbow and switching to a shield at the end of their turn, then switching back to the crossbow to attack? On passing items, the only rule clarification is that a player can pass items if adjacent and no monster is adjacent on their turn (Elf and Barb quest packs). Nothing about how often you can swap your own armor on and off.


Although the original rules make no indication, it seems reasonable that the Crossbow would be two handed; one hand for the trigger while the other hand would be used to aim.

Although a shield could technically be tied around the heroes forearm it would most likely impede his precision. To avoid complication I'd say make it 2 handed.

In regards to switching equipment back and forth during a quest, some players agree on using a turn action for this, otherwise there'd be no difference in weilding a battle axe with a shield.
I would say if the hero has a dagger or hand axe and chooses to throw it he can immediately pull out a new item, but if he's putting the battle axe away to take out a Broadsword and shield, that should take an action. You can do it in the middle of melee, but it'll prevent you from making an attack until your next turn.
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Re: Crossbow--2 handed or can use a shield?

Postby benvoliothefirst » Friday March 1st, 2019 5:34pm

Mitchiemasha, that repeater crossbow sounds awesome. My elf has +1 ranged, so 6d6 sounds delicious! But in that event I would DEFINITELY make the user take their action next turn to reload. Maybe one turn for each bolt?
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Re: Crossbow--2 handed or can use a shield?

Postby Jafazo » Friday March 1st, 2019 8:35pm

mitchiemasha wrote:
Maurice76 wrote:as an enemy in melee range

I do like this "Melee Range" wording, this is an excellent way to include adjacent and diagonal into 1.


Just be careful with the two if you're rewriting rules. Adjacent and melee range are different. Melee can include adjacent and diagonal, but also any weapon with an unusual attack range of 2 squares away. I think I've seen a mod here or there where whips, long spears etc, can be used from 2 squares away. Adjacent is strictly, next to, not even diagonal.

With the way Heroquest ignores equipping and inventory limits I feel the crossbow was just thrown in to give them a way to attack from a distance with little thought beyond that. It amazes me how they either ignored or failed to notice equipping. Whatever, they'll stay 2-handed in my games.
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Re: Crossbow--2 handed or can use a shield?

Postby mitchiemasha » Friday March 1st, 2019 11:08pm

Jafazo wrote:Just be careful with the two if you're rewriting rules. Adjacent and melee range are different. Melee can include adjacent and diagonal, but also any weapon with an unusual attack range of 2 squares away. I think I've seen a mod here or there where whips, long spears etc, can be used from 2 squares away. Adjacent is strictly, next to, not even diagonal


My mod has whip, long spear etc... PIKE... which has REACH, 2 squares away, with follow through. Drink a potion and you can use this to easily kill 2 beasts. I'm still thinking about how to work it in regards to all that.


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